Maybe it was the dreary mood set by the thick morning fog or perhaps the fatigue from the past three days of musical mayhem was finally taking hold, but at any rate, I found it exceptionally hard to drag myself out of my tent on the fourth and final day of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
Although my late start caused me to miss an early set from up-and-coming rockers Cage the Elephant, the delay gave me some time to snag a prime position for Andrew Bird (featured above) at the Which Stage.
With his ever-talented multi-instrumentalist ensemble (every member of the group plays at least two instruments), Bird’s live sets are never short of mind-boggling, and this performance was no exception. For more than an hour, Bird switched seamlessly between violin, guitar and his signature whistle during mellow tunes like “Anonanimal” and “Tables and Chairs,” creating the perfect laid-back vibe for a lazy Sunday afternoon at the Roo.
Check out some more photos from Andrew Bird…
However, I was soon forced to snap out of my dreamy musical wanderings and plow through a throng of people to get to the front of the Troo Music Lounge for a short set with Dear and the Headlights. The pop-rock quintet blasted through a 9-song set that borrowed mostly from their latest album, “Drunk Like Bible Times,” with each song receiving surprisingly raucous applause from the modest-sized audience. If their shows at Coachella and South by Southwest didn’t prove it, Dear and the Headlights’ performance at the Roo was a sure indication of their rapidly spreading success.
Check out some photos from Dear and the Headlights’ performance…
For my final Bonnaroo experience, I did not choose Phish, and I’m not sorry that I missed both shows. I never have enjoyed insanely long jam seshes at concerts, and I wasn’t about to drop acid in an attempt to make it bearable.
Instead, I opted for an hour-long hip-hop party on the main stage with west coast legend, Snoop Dogg. Although the rapper was 30 minutes late, the good vibes he brought to the stage with bangers like “The Next Episode” and “Doggystyle” made me forget about the setback. A quick rendition of House of Pain’s “Jump Around” marked one of the highest points of crowd participation throughout the long weekend.
So, while pondering the merit of Snoop’s closing words, “Smoke weed motherfucker!” (and concluding that Snoop is indeed a very wise man), I plodded back to my campsite to pack my bags.
Gazing at the crimson and orange sunset on the drive out, I couldn’t help but miss the fest already. Although it was exhausting, the exposure to so many world class artists in the span of just four days was (and always is) life-changing. Can’t wait ’til next year!